Courtroom View Network (CVN), www.courtroomview.com, will provide on demand video coverage of the Banco Espirito v BDO International trial. The trial is scheduled to take place in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Miami-Dade County, before Honorable John Schlesinger beginning on May 26, 2009. The trial is expected to last approximately 10 days.
re: The Auditors will be following this coverage and providing commentary and selected video clips, including evidence presented, starting on Wednesday, May 27th.
From Courtroom TV’s Press Release:
This trial will determine whether BDO Seidman was an agent of BDO International, thus making the international accounting network potentially liable for a $500M+ judgment against US network member BDO Seidman.
The trial court ruled that the Banco Espirito’s evidence could not have established agency, but the Florida Court of Appeal ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to a trial on whether BDO Seidman had acted as the international accounting network’s agent, and thus the international accountancy network might be vicariously liable for the judgment against its network member BDO Seidman. Network managers worry that the risks of being in a network could be much higher than anticipated, requiring a rethinking of transatlantic relationships.
In the underlying case, Banco Espirito Santo’s professional malpractice claim against accounting firm BDO Seidman resulted in a jury award of $170M in compensatory damages and $352 in punitive damages. Portugal’s third largest bank alleged that BDO had conducted negligent audits for one of BDO’s clients, failing to discover a $220M fraud that cost Banco Espirito $170M.